In our last post, we began discussing some basic things parents should communicate to their children regarding their estate plan. As we noted, appointing an executor and informing them of their task is one thing that should be communicated.
In addition to notifying the executor where one’s estate planning documents, collectibles and bank accounts are located, one should also inform one’s other family members. Doing so can avoid confusion and frustration in the event of a premature death. Getting one’s items organized can be done by means of electronic account aggregation software, or simply by putting all one’s documents in one place and entrusting them to one person.
A third matter that should be discussed with one’s adult children is long term care. This is an issue that is often left unaddressed until it cannot be ignored anymore. Unfortunately, like many areas of life, it goes more smoothly if planning is done well in advance. Some folks purchase long term care insurance, which helps cover the costs of nursing home care, which can be quite expensive. Sometimes children pay for this insurance for their parents, particularly when the latter cannot afford it. It is also a good idea to get children talking about who may be available to help care for parents when the time comes. Whatever decisions are ultimately made in this area, this is a conversation best done before it really needs to be done.
A fourth issue that is critical to address with children is one’s wishes regarding end-of-life care. These are typically set forth in a living will or an advanced health care directive. The latter typically permits one to identify preferred courses of care in given medical situations, and also allow for the appointment of agent to make health care decisions.
The decisions here are, of course, just some suggestions about issues to discuss with adult children. There may be others. Questions about these matters are best addressed by speaking to an estate planning attorney.
Source: yoursmartmoneymoves.com, “What Four Estate Planning Things Parents Should Tell Their Children,” Ted Jenkin, May 31, 2012